Los Angeles

June 2015

Los Angeles is just two hours away from San Diego, the place of my summer 2015 internship, so it would be strange not to visit it.

I started my trip from the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. I am sure you have seen photos of these stars with the names of celebrities many times.

In reality Walk of Fame is much longer than expected — there are more than 2500 stars there. Some places along it are popular and fancy.

You can meet some "celebrities" here.

Compare your feet and palms with theirs.

Or take a photo with the Hollywood sign.

Try to zoom in to see all details.

In most parts, however, Walk of Fame and Hollywood Boulevard are just low grey buildings with different shops.

Do you see the stars and the Hollywood sign?

Want to visit a smoke shop or buy some souvenirs? Here you are.

How about some groceries near somebody's star?

In some places stars are dirty and surrounded by homeless people and beggars. Stars seem really alien here, and it becomes understandable why some celebrities refused to get their star on the Walk.

After 10 minutes walk nothing reminds you that you are so close to one of the most famous places in the world.

There turned out to be many Russian places in the city.

Looks like some Russians come here without even a job or knowledge of English.

Signs in Russian: job agency, flight tickets, delivery and more.

But the biggest number of Russians (easily identified by the Russian language they speak to each other) I met in my next destination — Beverly Hills.

By the way, do you know that Beverly Hills is considered an independent city, not a part of Los Angeles that surrounds it?

There are many expensive and cool cars on the streets of Los Angeles. Once a year, on the Father's day, the rarest, most expensive and the fastest of them are exhibited on Rodeo Drive — the street in Beverly Hills with the most fashionable and luxurious shops. The event is called "Concours d'Elegance" and, by chance, it was held the same day when I visited Los Angeles.

Old and new cars from world-famous brands are presented here. Some Ferrari.

Packard from 1930.

Rolls Royce Phantom I Aerodynamic Coupe from the 1920s.

Some concept cars were also presented, like this one with three wheels.

Most cars looked fresh and drivable, but some not, like this old Ford Model T.

It also has a license plate, however, and, maybe, can drive.

The most popular car was this Bugatti Veyron — the fastest car you can buy and drive on the streets. Drive with the speed up to 431 km/h (267 mph).

High fashion and best cars met at this event. Frommer's — one of the most famous travel guides — included "Concours d'Elegance" on Rodeo Drive to its list of 300 unmissable events of the world. And it's definitely worth it. Check it out, if you will have a chance!

Some of the best places in Los Angeles are its several beaches. One of the most popular of them is Santa Monica beach. On weekends with good weather, it is really crowded.

Santa Monica beach also has a popular pier with some roller coasters, cafes, shops, and other entertainment.

As in many other places in the USA, some public demonstrations are never far away. Every Sunday "Arlington West" memorial is created on Santa Monica beach. Crosses are put for every military person who died in the Iraq War. Also, flag-draped coffins are placed for every military person killed within the week.

Finally, I reached Griffith Observatory, which gives a nice view of the city. As you can see, Los Angeles is huge, but mostly flat, with just some skyscrapers in the downtown.

Griffith Observatory itself.

The sun sets over the Hollywood.